Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM)

What is a MIAM?

Very few people will have heard of a MIAM until they have been involved in family mediation.  Essentially, it is the first meeting you will have with a family mediator.  You will discuss your personal situation and the mediator will explain the process of mediation to you.  The purpose of this is to ascertain whether your situation is suitable for mediation.

Usually people will attend a MIAM alone, however, it is possible for you to attend a joint MIAM with your former partner.

If you have children who are over the age of 10, the mediator will discuss with you their rights to have their views taken into account. This is an important part of the process designed to support the health and well-being of the children as well as to help parents come to good workable decisions. Research shows this part of the process brings real benefits to your children and to parents as they make decisions for the family.

How long is a MIAM?

The MIAM will last about an hour, and will give you an opportunity to tell the mediator about your situation, and the issues that need to be decided. The mediator will tell you about the mediation process and other options for reaching agreements.

At the end of the meeting, the mediator will tell you whether your case is suitable for mediation, and you can decide whether you want to proceed with mediation or explore another option for resolving issues. The mediator can also give you information about other services which provide help and support.

If you agree, the mediator might also refer you to other organisations who can help you, such as those who can offer counselling, debt advice, or information about how to parent co-operatively after separation, where these are relevant.

Do I have to attend a MIAM?

If you have decided to attempt mediation as a means to resolving your circumstances then yes, a MIAM is essential.

If you want to take your case to court then, in most cases, you will have to attend a MIAM before making an application. There are only a few specific circumstances where this requirement does not apply (mainly involving domestic abuse). This is because court action should be used only where the protection of the law is required or, as a last resort when alternative ways of resolving things haven’t worked.

If the court has told you that your former partner has made an application to resolve issues related to children or finances following divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, the judge will also expect you to have attended a MIAM, unless the same specific circumstances apply.

Going to a MIAM isn’t the same as going to Mediation. A MIAM will help you understand the options available to sort out the issues that need to be resolved, and to choose the best option.

How much does a MIAM cost?

Our full fees are displayed here.  

If you qualify for legal aid the MIAM is cost free

If you do not qualify for legal aid but your former partner does qualify, the MIAM is cost free to you

If neither of you qualify for legal aid, the MIAM costs £99 each *

* we do have a bursary available for those who do not qualify for legal aid but find themselves in particular financial difficulties.

Who can sign court forms to say I have been to a MIAM?

At the conclusion of your MIAM, if you decide not to proceed to mediation, or your circumstances deem mediation unsuitable, our mediators will provide you with the requisite form required to proceed to court.